Why is Colposcopy Performed

An Overview

This is a medical procedure where a doctor uses a special magnifying instrument called a colposcope to detect the presence or signs of disease in the vagina, vulva, and cervix.

Should your Pap test result be abnormal, your doctor may recommend colposcopy. During this procedure, if your doctor identifies an abnormal area of cells, a biopsy will be conducted using a sample of tissue from the infected area.

It is true that women may get anxious before a colposcopy appointment, so understanding what this medical procedure entails can calm your nerves.

Why is Colposcopy performed?

If the result of your Pap test or pelvic exam shows abnormalities, your doctor might recommend colposcopy. This medical check can be used to detect:

  • Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)
  • Precancerous changes of the vulva
  • Genital warts
  • Precancerous changes in the cervical tissue
  • Precancerous changes in the vaginal tissue

Visit ourprivate colposcopy clinic in London to get examined today.

What are the risks of colposcopy?

There are minimal risks associated with colposcopy as it is a safe procedure. Complications from biopsies collected during colposcopy may arise, but it is very rare. If it happens, it may include:

  • Infection
  • Pelvic pain
  • Heavy bleeding

When to seek medical help

Complications of colposcopy may have the following symptoms:

  • Serious pain in the abdomen
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation

If you notice any of the signs above after your colposcopy, do well to contact your doctor.

Preparing for colposcopy

As part of the preparation for colposcopy, your health care provider or doctor may recommend the following:

  • Do not use tampons a day or two before your appointment
  • Do not schedule your colposcopy during your period
  • Avoid vaginal sex a day or two before your colposcopy
  • Avoid using vaginal medications two days to your colposcopy
  • Use over-the-counter pain killers like ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, etc.) or acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) before your colposcopy

Dealing with anxiety that comes with colposcopy

A lot of women are anxious before their colposcopy appointment. If you are anxious, you won’t feel comfortable, be able to sleep, or have difficulty concentrating.

Controlling your anxiety during colposcopy is important as women who tend to be so anxious might feel more pain than women with controlled anxiety level. It is also possible for anxious women to cancel their colposcopy appointment.

The following tips can help you relax before your colposcopy:

  • Request for pamphlets about colposcopy from your doctor and get acquainted with what it involves
  • Note all the questions or concerns you have about colposcopy and ask that your doctor discuss them with you before the examination
  • Get engaged in activities that calm your nerves like meditation, exercise, and having close friends and family around
  • You can go to your appointment with a portable music player if your doctor agrees. Listening to cool music can reduce pain and anxiety during the procedure

You can visit your nearest clinic in Harley Street for your colposcopy appointment.

What to expect

During colposcopy

The colposcopy procedure usually takes 10 to 20 minutes, and it’s done in your doctor’s office. Your doctor will ask you to lie on a table with your back, your feet apart and held by a support.

The walls of your vagina will be spread and held open with a metal speculum so that your doctor can see your cervix.

Your doctor will place the colposcope a little distance away from your vagina. A bright light will be shone into your vagina, and your doctor will take a look via the colposcope lens.

Any mucus on your vagina and cervix will be swabbed with cotton. The doctor might apply a vinegar solution or any other solution to the area. You might feel a burning or tingling sensation when this happens. The essence of the solution is to help identify abnormal cell areas.

During biopsy

Should your doctor detect am unusual area, they will take a sample of tissue from that region for testing in the lab. This sample is collected with a sharp biopsy instrument. Multiple samples may be taken if there are multiple unusual areas.

The type of tissue being removed determines how you feel during a biopsy:

  • Vaginal biopsy – A sample of tissue taken from the lower part of your vagina or vulva can trigger pain or discomfort. The area may be numbed with a local anaesthetic
  • Cervical biopsy – This kind of biopsy will make you slightly uncomfortable, but it is normally pain-free. You may get cramps or feel some pressure

A chemical solution may be applied to the area the sample tissue was taken to prevent bleeding.


If no biopsy sample was taken from you during the colposcopy, you could resume your normal activities after the examination is done. However, the following day or two may come with spotting or very light vaginal bleeding.

But if the doctor took a biopsy sample during the colposcopy, you might notice:

  • A dark vaginal discharge
  • Spotting or light vaginal bleeding that lasts for sometime
  • Pain in the vagina or vulva that lasts for one or two days

You can wear a pad to manage the discharge or blood. Don’t use tampons. Avoid douching. Stay away from vaginal sex one week or more after your biopsy. Your doctor will advise you when it’s okay to have sex again. Feel free to ask your doctor any questions you have or go to website for more information.


Find out when the result of your colposcopy will be ready before you leave your doctor’s office. Try and get a phone number you can call in case your doctor doesn’t call you back within the expected period.

Further testing or treatment for Private Colposcopy in London may be recommended by your doctor based on the result from your colposcopy. It’s good to get a colposcopy done so that any impending sexual disease can be treated accordingly. For more information, call us on 02074991991.

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